Chilli, Lime, Sweet Potato and Rice Bowl

This rice bowl is another one of my super simple to make recipes that doesn’t take much time at all to create! It’s essentially a selection of some of my favourite foods combined to make a delicious lunch or dinner option.

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If you know me then you will know that I LOVE all things hot and spicy – but that doesn’t mean that you have to spice yours up if you don’t want to!

The following recipe makes enough to serve two to three people – depending on how big you want your bowl to be.

Ingredients:

  • 125g of cooked brown rice
  • 400g of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • A handful of coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • A handful of cashew nuts
  • 2 small handfuls of pumpkin seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 lime, sliced in half
  • Maple agave (or your favourite natural sweetener)

Method:

Start by preheating your oven to 200C or 400F. Next, place your sweet potato chunks on an oven tray and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over them. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes.

Place the cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds in a separate oven dish and roast with the potatoes for the final seven minutes of the 20 minutes.

While the sweet potato and the nuts and seeds are roasting you can turn your attention to making your salad dressing. For this you will need to place the ginger, the red chilli, and the garlic in a bowl. You can then take the lime halves and squeeze as much juice as you can into the bowl. Add four tablespoons of olive oil to the mix with two tablespoons of the tamari soy sauce and two tablespoons of the maple agave – or your favourite natural sweetener! Whisk the contents of the bowl together.

Next, take a large handful of the rice and place into each bowl, alongside a large handful of the sweet potato and the black beans and the nuts and seeds. You can then pour the salad dressing over the top of each bowl and sprinkle with coriander.

Want to learn more about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health? Click here now to check out my starter guide!

White Bean Dip

If you haven’t discovered my YouTube channel yet then don’t worry! I am going to be bringing the videos from my channel straight to you here on my blog!

Today I want to share my recent White Bean Dip Recipe video! This dish takes less than ten minutes to create and is great for serving as a side during a dinner party, or also just as a snack for one!

Several of the ingredients in my White Bean Dip, such as the garlic and olive oil, are fantastic for providing your body with the energy that it needs, as well as being helpful for protecting the immune system. Additionally, the cannellini beans are an amazing source of fibre, making them great for weight loss and optimum digestion.

Turmeric is one of my star ingredients and is something that I try to include in my diet every single day. One of the best things about turmeric is that it is super anti-inflammatory, meaning it can keep levels of inflammation in the body at a positive level. It also helps to protect against the onset of certain health conditions, such as some types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and liver damage.

Ingredients:

400g cannellini beans
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of turmeric
1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped
Pumpkin Seeds
Pistachios

Method:

Take the canned cannellini beans and drain the water before adding them to your food processor with a quarter cup of olive oil. You can then add in the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, the teaspoon of turmeric, the minced garlic and the chopped ginger.

Blitz the contents of your food processor until your dip has the consistency of hummus. You can then scoop it out and place it into a bowl to serve. Top with pistachios and pumpkin seeds and you are good to go!

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Garlic Peas and Kale with Smashed Avocado

This dish works well as a main meal for one or as a side dish for two or more. The combination of green vegetables with the healthy fats of the avocado mean that you are getting a dose of nutrition that’s difficult to rival! The four large handfuls of kale that you’ll use in this recipe are seriously beneficial for your body as kale is known to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Not only that but it is also rammed full of vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins A, C and K, manganese, copper and fiber among many others! The high antioxidant count of kale also makes it amazing for protecting your body against cancer – it is a leaf that truly deserves the superfood label!

The use of pumpkin seeds brings a massive serving of magnesium into this dish which is essential in keeping your heart, bones and teeth healthy, not to mention the proper function of your blood vessels and bowels. Pumpkin seeds are also a fantastic source of zinc which the body needs to keep your eyes and skin healthy, whilst also ensuring proper cell growth. The high omega-3 fatty acid count in avocados provides your body with the good kind of fat that it craves as well as a decent dose of protein. Fresh avocados contain a huge amount of antioxidants, most notably lycopene and beta-carotene which greatly help to reduce cell damage.

Sound like a meal that you want to enjoy?! Then make sure you have the following ingredients:

2 tbsp. of coconut oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
400g of frozen peas
4 large handfuls of kale, stems removed
1 avocado, roughly chopped
A handful of pumpkin seeds

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To begin, melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil has started to get hot, you can add the garlic, onion and peas until the garlic and onion start to soften. After a few minutes the peas should start to soften and cook too. Next, add the lemon zest and juice, kale, avocado and pumpkin seeds. You should then season with sea salt and ground pepper. The next step is to take a potato masher and roughly mash the mixture. Be sure to add in a decent drizzle of olive oil while you are doing so. Your Garlic Peas with Smashed Avocado is now ready to enjoy as it is or to add on to the side of another meal! The creamy mixture is sure to go down a treat with guests as an original addition to the menu!

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If you enjoyed this dish and want to find others like it, then head over to Amazon to pre-order my very first cookbook!

The Best Baked Beans

Baked beans are such an amazingly satisfying meal, especially when combined with a crusty chunk of wholemeal bread! Delicious. However, when you buy baked beans from the store, the sugar and salt content can be incredibly high! You might also find other additives and artificial sweeteners lurking in the can which your body simply doesn’t want anything to do with!

That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid this meal entirely as it’s always possible to make your own! My recipe uses cannellini beans and chickpeas combined with a few other nourishing additions to create the Best Baked Beans!

Cannellini beans rank incredibly low on the glycemic index and also score some serious points when it comes to their high antioxidant count. They are full of a range of vitamins and minerals, with an especially impressive magnesium count. Magnesium is important for keeping your blood pressure normal as well as for the health of your bones. Chickpeas are the perfect accompaniment to the cannellini beans as they are a fantastic natural source of protein. Chickpeas are also low calorie as well as low in fat. In fact, one cup of cooked chickpeas contains 4 grams of fat but it is the healthy unsaturated kind!

best_baked_beans_flexi_foodie2To make the Best Baked Beans, grab yourself the following ingredients:

1 x 400g tin cannellini beans – drained and rinsed
1 x 400g tin chickpeas – drained and rinsed
1 leek, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
3 Large garlic cloves, crushed
200g tomato puree
1 litre of vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
4-6 Tbsp. coconut nectar depending on how sweet you like it.

To begin, melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat before adding in the chopped leek and the crushed garlic. You can then saute the leek and the garlic in the oil for the next ten minutes. After this time, they should begin to go soft.

Next you can add the litre of veg stock into the pan and then the tomato puree and thyme as well. Give this a quick stir and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow the pan to simmer with the lid off for the next 45 minutes. By this time the sauce will have become thick. Decide how much of the coconut nectar you want to add into the mix and then place that in the pan with a dash of sea salt and black pepper. You can then remove from the heat and serve into bowls!

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Roasted Chickpea, Cucumber and Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad

Salads aren’t dishes that are often associated with the winter weather, however, this one is not only incredibly filling but also full of the kind of goodness that helps to keep you healthy and smiling through the cold season. Sprouting broccoli is an ingredient that I have used once before on my blog but you may not be all that familiar with it. Growing during the winter and sprouting during the spring, this colourful vegetable is a great way to add nutrition and character to any meal. However, it is chickpeas that are the true nourishment bringer of this dish.

A cup of chickpeas only contains 4 grams of fat and absolutely none of it is the bad kind! Add to that, that they provide a decent dose of fibre and can help to lower bad cholesterol levels whilst improving digestive health. When you eat chickpeas your red blood cells benefit hugely as they are full of folate which is essential for the development of these cells.

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To make this salad for two people, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the salad:

250g of purple sprouting broccoli
1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp of paprika
2 tsp of cumin
1 small cucumber
A handful of corianderFor the dressing:A handful of coriander
1/2 an avocado
A small handful of pitted olives
1 tbsp of tahini
1 clove of garlic, crushed
7 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
The juice of 1 lemon

Firstly, bring a pot of water to the boil and blanche the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Whilst you’re doing so, pre-heat your oven to 180C and then spread your chickpeas out on a baking tray. Take the pre-measured paprika and cumin and sprinkle over the chickpeas. You can then place the baking tray into the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Remember to put the broccoli to one side on a large bowl once it is blanched.

Whilst you’re waiting for the chickpeas to cook, chop your cucumber into small chunks and add it into the bowl with the broccoli. As soon as the chickpeas are ready, you can add them into this bowl also.
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The dressing is equally as simple to make as all you have to do is chuck everything into your blender and blitz until you have a smooth mixture.

As soon as you have the broccoli, chickpeas and cucumber in the same bowl, you can serve onto two separate dishes and top with the salad dressing. Add a generous amount of coriander to the top of this and your salad is ready to eat!

Tenderstem Broccoli, Sundried Tomato and Walnut Salad

I am all about dark, green, leafy vegetables these days.  I want to somehow always try to incorporate them into my day and if I can at every single meal!  This salad came to me as I was staring at my broccoli in the fridge wondering what I would do with it rather than the same ol’ boring steaming and without having to make a dressing as well.  I wanted something quick for lunch but then realised that this recipe makes a great side salad for supper too!

IMG_1279But seriously, where do I even begin with the health benefits of eating broccoli.  There are SO many!  So, I’ll hone in on a few to truly convince you that broccoli truly is a SUPERFOOD! Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth.  Along with a high amount of potassium, Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.  Broccoli also contains high amounts of Vitamin C and Calcium (YAY!)  and thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains as it helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself.

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But I also want to zoom in quickly on the sun-dried tomatoes which are so unbelievably yummy that I had a hard time not eating all of them before the salad was finished……oops!  Did you know that a half-cup of sun-dried tomatoes counts as a full cup or raw or cooked vegetables according to the USDA.  And the drying of the sun-dried tomatoes brings out the sweetness…. no wonder I couldn’t stop eating them!

IMG_1276So to make this salad that serves 2-3 as a side dish grab yourself these ingredients.

2-3 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

large bunch of tenderstem broccoli

4 large cloves of garlic

1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup of walnuts

sea salt (preferable pink himalayan – see my other blog post on this incredible mineral!)

freshly ground black pepper

chilli flakes

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IMG_1282Make sure you wash your broccoli before you begin cooking.  Slice the garlic cloves into thin slices and you’re ready to get cooking.  Turn your stove on a moderately high heat and heat 2-3 Tbsp. of coconut oil into your pan.  As it begins to get hot, add the slices of garlic and fry for 30 seconds, making sure the garlic doesn’t begin to go brown.  Next, add all of the broccoli and sauté for a couple of minutes before emptying the cup of sun-dried tomatoes into the pan.  Sprinkle the chilli flakes on top as much as desired, lower the heat slightly and continue to sauté.

IMG_1287In a separate pan, warm the walnuts for one to two minutes so that you can see that they begin to brown ever so slightly.  As soon as the nuts are ready, you can serves the broccoli and sun-dried tomato mix onto a dish, sprinkle with the walnuts and enjoy!

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Tofu and Vegetable Miso Soup

 This soup is an absolute secret weapon against any nasty colds or flu you might pick up this spring! With the weather still not fantastic it is essential to give your immune system as much help as you can to keep illness away. As we know, food is the best preventative medicine and this soup is packing some serious nutrition! There are some foods, like garlic and ginger for example, that are known to help the body through periods when you’re not at your best. Getting these foods into your diet isn’t difficult but discovering new and interesting recipes may not be something you have time for. Hopefully my blog has removed all of the leg work for you on that front though! Although this soup is great for kicking germs out of the body, that doesn’t mean you have to wait until you’re feeling sick to try it! The following ingredients will make enough for four or five generous servings.

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One red onion, sliced

A handful of ginger, finely sliced

Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped

One fresh chilli, sliced

A handful of bean sprouts

One carrot, sliced

Three or four spring onions, sliced at an angle

Brown rice miso paste

150g of sweetcorn

Four or five sliced mushrooms

200g of tofu

Brown rice noodles

Soya butter

Veg stock

1 litre of water

So to begin, fry the onion in some soy butter with most of the ginger (leave some for later), chilli and garlic. Once they have had a few minutes to fry add in the mushrooms and carrot. Stir everything together and leave on the hob to cook. While this is happening, slice the tofu in half and press a paper towel against it to help remove any excess water.

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Next, take some of the miso paste and rub it into the tofu before frying it in a separate pan. Once you have begun frying the tofu you can add the sweetcorn and the veg stock in the litre of water. Once the tofu is crispy, remove it from the heat. However, leave the other pot to simmer for about 40 minutes.

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Once this time has passed, add four tablespoons of miso paste to the simmering pan and prepare the brown rice noodles by covering them in hot water. Next, cool the noodles by running them under cold water and then put them into the soup. Chuck the fried tofu in too with the sliced spring onions and the rest of the ginger. You immune boosting soup is now ready to serve!

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Leafy Green Curry with Mushrooms

As much as I love the Christmas season I’m not too keen on the weather that comes with it! Having a delicious hot meal in the evening can make all the difference to your mood, especially if you are beginning to feel drained by everything that goes hand in hand with the festive season. This Leafy Green Curry with Mushrooms is just the thing to fill you with nutrition and satisfy your appetite at the end of your day. To make enough for two people you’ll need the following ingredients:

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1 tsp of coconut oil

½ a tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of cumin seeds

¼ of a cup of fresh basil

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tbsp of fresh grated ginger

1 cup of mushrooms

2 cups of fresh spinach, finely chopped

1 cup of kale, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 red chill, finely chopped

2 cups of fresh broccoli

leafy_green_curry_with_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie5So to begin, heat the oil in a medium sized frying pan and once hot, add the cumin seeds and leave for just 30 seconds before including the chopped tomato too.

leafy_green_curry_with_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie3Next, grate the ginger into the pan and add the chopped chilli. Lower the heat and chop your mushrooms into thin slices.

leafy_green_curry_with_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie5If the pan begins to get dry at this point then feel free to add a splash of water. Once the mushrooms are sliced, stir together for four or five minutes before adding the kale, spinach and broccoli into the pan.

leafy_green_curry_with_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie7Let this cook for a few more minutes and then include the chopped garlic. At this stage you can add a little bit more water if necessary as well as salt and pepper to taste if you require. Your curry is now ready to serve!

Seven Cancer Fighting Foods

Combining an active lifestyle with a healthy diet is a great way to defend your body against many forms of cancer. Some cancers develop due to genetic factors however the way you take care of yourself can play a part in preventing the onset. By incorporating a wide variety of plant based foods into your meals you can stay on top of your health! Include these seven foods in a balanced diet to help your body defend against cancer and a huge range of other health issues.

Berries
Berries

Berries

Antioxidants are great for stopping those free radicals from travelling around your body causing damage and berries are absolutely crammed full of them. Although it’s never possible to completely avoid toxins, it is possible to put up a good fight and berries are a great weapon for this. There’s so many different types of berries that you’re bound to find a selection that you love!

Garlic

Studies have shown that garlic is especially great for inhibiting the growth of cancer in the prostate, colon, stomach and bladder. Garlic will also give your immune system a boost and work to detoxify the body. You can include it in soups, stir fries, salads – in fact, practically any dish!

Garlic
Garlic

Kale

Kale is full of fiber and studies show that it is most effective in preventing cancer of the colon, stomach and lungs. Kale is a delicious addition to many meals but if it’s not your thing, then you can also get similar nutritional goodness from other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

Spinach  Spinach is fantastic and works to prevent cancer when carcinogens enter the body. Research has shown that consuming spinach will decrease the chances of tumours occurring and growing. Spinach is delicious with salads or as an accompaniment to many main meals.

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Mushrooms

Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are full of compounds that aid the liver in the detoxification process. Several of these compounds also work to stimulate the production of enzymes which protect against carcinogens. Broccoli sprouts are three-four day old broccoli plants which have been likened in flavour to the radish. These awesome sprouts will also help with lowering cholesterol levels and can be easily grown at home.

Mushrooms

Because of their ability to suppress the enzyme in the body which converts testosterone into estrogen, mushrooms are great for inhibiting breast cancer. They also contain lentinan which is thought to prevent tumour growth. Certain types of mushroom, like shitake, are also fantastic for kick-starting the immune system.

Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric is predominantly used in curry dishes but can also be used to flavour many other meals. Curcumin is the component of turmeric which makes it of such great value to our health. Studies have shown that curcumin helps in the fight against cancers such as that of the mouth, intestines, breasts, skin, and stomach and is also especially useful for treating colorectal cancers.

When it comes to preventative medicine, plant-based foods are a great way to go! You can have effective control over your health and your body just by making some simple lifestyle and dietary choices. Try it for yourself and see the difference!

Puy Lentils, Sweet Potato & Pomegranate Bake

Lentils have become a real staple in our house.  From red lentils to green lentils and now to puy lentils!  But what has been so amazing about these cute lookin’ discs, is that my 6 year old LOVES them!  In fact, he loves them so much that he practically asks for them every night.  So, we’ve had to get really creative in the ‘lentils’ department to make the dishes fun (and tasty) for all 6 of us!  And this is how and why this particular ‘bake’ was born.  For those of you who sometimes wonder or get asked – like I do – where you get your protein from other than the meat slogan that’s force fed to us, well – this little legume is your answer because…… Lentils have a higher protein content than beef! No joke.

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Lentils may be small but they are a huge player in the legume family.  They are an awesome source of cholesterol-lowering fibre but they also help manage blood-sugar disorders since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from quickly rising after your meal.  But there’s more!  Lentils also provide amazing amounts of 6 important minerals, 2 B-vitamins, and like I mentioned above – the full monty: protein.  And can you believe it, all of that with virtually NO fat!  Just 230 calories for whole cup of cooked lentils.  This tiny nutritional giant fills you up – not out. ImageServes 6!

250g puy lentils

600g sweet potatoes

400ml (1 tin) coconut milk

1 pomegranate

1 red chilli

2-3 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

handful of parsley, to garnish

ImagePre-heat your oven to 180C/350F.  Place the lentils in a small pot, cover with water and bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until al dente.  Drain and then just set aside.

Pierce the sweet potatoes, rub with coconut oil, place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until tender.  Once cooked through, leave to cool but keep the oven on!  Once completely cooled, dice into 1 1/2 inch chunks.

Heat the remaining of the coconut oil in a pan and saute the garlic until soft.  Stir in the lentils, chunked sweet potatoes and spices with the 400ml of coconut milk and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.  Pour this glorious mixture into an ovenproof baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, de-seed and thinly slice the red chilli.  After the 15 minutes, place the sliced red chilli on top of the bake and bake for an additional 5 minutes until those red chillies are a bit charred!

Serve with lots of pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.  YUM!

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